The Northern Railway has revived the 1927 Rail Motor Car, which was about to be phased out due to the non availability of vital spare parts. A trial run of the revived rail car was successfully conducted on Saturday. The three other rail cars would also be upgraded soon and put in operation early next year.
The move will definitely bring cheers to the thousands of tourists flocking the hills as the Kalka-Shimla route is the only section in the country where rail car services are still in operation.
A railway official stated that little make over has been given to toy car as the rail cars will have a transparent fibre glass roof. The seats have been ergonomically redesigned while interiors will boast of wooden flooring, wider windows with blinds, a digital clock-cum-temperature display unit and a music system. The rail cars will also be fitted with an altimeter to indicate height of the route being traversed. However, a conscious effort was made to not to overhaul the outer design, which will remain as it is to keep alive the heritage character of the British make. The electrical circuitry will also been renovated with a provision for laptop and mobile chargers and air brakes put in for safer operation.
The rail car traverses 96 km from Kalka to Shimla, completing the journey in four hours and 25 minutes, passing through 864 bridges, 102 tunnels and at least 900 sharp curves and turns. A group of 14 passengers can be accommodated in one rail car.